How To Ask Presenters for Prep Materials

Many of my clients who organize conferences aren’t sure how to ask presenters for preparation materials for the captioning and interpreting teams.

Here is a template courtesy of the Linguistic Society of America that you can modify for your own use.

SUBJECT: Request for materials: Your session at the LSA Annual Meeting will be ASL-interpreted
TO: (access coordinator’s email address)
BCC: (presenters’ email addresses)

Dear Colleagues,

One or more of the Deaf attendees at the upcoming LSA Annual Meeting has requested sign language interpretation for the session. If you’re not sure which presentation is being interpreted, you can see a spreadsheet at [link to online spreadsheet with all requested sessions].

Getting materials – presenter notes, complete abstracts, slides, etc. – to interpreters in advance of the meeting helps them do their job. Please send any advance materials at your earliest possible convenience, but in any event no later than two days in advance of your presentation, to our interpreter coordinator, CC’d here, who will pass them on to the interpreters.

Drafts are fine; they will be shared only with the interpreters and only for the purposes of preparing their interpretation. Something is better than nothing, and late is better than never.

Thanks in advance. I look forward to seeing you soon.

[Meetings manager]

Sending this email to your presenters is a quick and easy way to do the following.

  • Let presenters know that their presentations will have captioning or interpreting services provided, so that they’re not surprised when it happens.
  • Enable captioners and interpreters to do their work with utmost accuracy.

Give it a try at your next meeting!